In light of the Wells Report, which was released last week, there are people who say that the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl win is tainted, that it should be vacated, that the franchise should lose draft picks and that Tom Brady should be suspended.
Shaun King is not one of those people.
“Complete baloney,” the Yahoo! Sports NFL analyst said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I told you guys from the beginning, this is one of the bigger witch hunts in the history of the NFL, in my opinion. Being a former quarterback, I’m telling you: We all get in a room with the balls, and we find the balls we like. If we don’t have balls we like, we create balls that we like, and those are the balls that we use on Sunday. Every quarterback does it.”
Especially since there’s no way to regulate it. Rules are great; unenforceable rules are worthless.
“I think this is what the NFL has to figure out,” King said. “The NFL knows the balls are flawed when they come out the box. That’s why they let the quarterback manipulate them to get them how they like them. I guess if they’re going to have some universal ball that you use straight out the box, that’ll take away the need to manipulate them.
“Remember, (Brady) didn’t do anything to the balls in the Super Bowl,” King continued. “The Super Bowl’s balls are the most guarded balls since Obama goes and plays basketball in the White House gymnasium. (Brady) played pretty well. So anybody who’s trying to say that some kind of advantage is why they’ve been successful, they’re just showing how much they despise and hate the New England Patriots. There’s a lot of people, unfortunately, that work in this business that really despise the New England Patriots and always try to find a way to circumvent the success that they’ve been able to have.”
There are reports that Brady could be suspended for his involvement in Deflategate – anywhere from two to eight games. That’s a stretch for both Brian Jones and Gregg Giannotti, neither of whom believes Brady should be suspended at all.
“Every big-time writer that covers the NFL is really a commissioner because that’s where all these alleged number of games have come from, right?” King said sarcastically. “It’s ridiculous. I know Roger Goodell has made some mistakes – some big ones. I think the league as a whole has mishandled some situations. But I hope we’re moving away from suspending people just to appease the public. If Brady gets suspended, I think that’s what the commissioner (would be) doing – and I think that’s a cop-out. I think that would make me look even less on Roger Goodell. We’ve really got to get out of this state. It’s more of a societal thing that’s infiltrated into sports where we do things just so people will be acceptive of what we did – even when we know what we did wasn’t right.”
If the NFL does suspend Brady, King believes the league must take ball regulations more seriously. It must take action to prevent this from happening again.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Dealing with leather, it’s always going to be a different ball. But they need to figure out how to get the balls to a point where they’re useable right out the box. This will eliminate one quarterback liking it one way and another one liking it another. Just everyone use the same ball.”